Violin outfits contain a violin, a bow, and a violin case. A cake of rosin is also usually included. Optional items sometimes included are an extra set of strings, a tuning fork, and some teaching materials.
Violin outfits come in ten different sizes, ranging from one-sixty-fourth to full size. These ten different sizes accommodate children and adults with different arm lengths. Before purchasing a violin outfit, the person who will use the outfit should be assessed by a professional violinist familiar with violin sizing. Once the correct size is determined, price comparisons can be made between different violin outfits.
A violin will be equipped with a fingerboard, tailpiece, bridge, and pegs. The fingerboard runs along the neck of the violin and is the place the musician’s fingers press to change the length of the strings and sound different notes. At the end of the instrument, the tailpiece is used to anchor the strings to the lower bout of the violin. A bridge supports the strings and transfers their vibration to the sounding board. The pegs are located at the top of the violin near the scroll, work to anchor the strings at the top of the instrument, and loosen or tighten the strings for tuning.
Violin outfits usually include a set of strings which are strung onto the instrument or included in the case to be strung by the buyer. Strings are not always included with a violin outfit. The violin requires four strings.
The second main component in a violin outfit is the bow. A violin bow is used to grab and vibrate the strings to produce the musical notes. The bow stick, or main supporting structure of the bow, can be made of wood, fiberglass, or other synthetic materials, and bow hair is typically made of horse hair, but can also be man-made. Some violin outfits will also include a cake of rosin made from pine sap. This is a sticky substance applied to the bow hairs to help the hairs grip, pull, and vibrate the violin strings.
The final component of a violin outfit is the case. A violin case can be violin-shaped or rectangular shaped. Inside is a violin-shaped indent in which the violin is laid. The bow is stored inside the lid of the case and is held in place with brackets. Cases usually have small storage compartments for rosin, a tuning fork, extra strings, and a shoulder pad. The case often comes with a fabric cover that is laid over the violin before closing the case.
Some outfits, especially smaller sizes or beginner level violin outfits, will contain some additional items. This may include an extra set of strings and a tuning fork to help tune the violin when a piano is unavailable. In addition, an outfit may contain an instructional compact disk, digital video disk, or a music book.